Glad to see you back man.
I try and check in every now and then myself.
Not much going on.
Not sure if MA in general is a popular as it was back in the day, things seem to have slowed down a bit everywhere.
I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone around here that gave so freely of their time and knowledge back in the day.
Google trends show some martial arts are doing okay, other martial arts are struggling. MMA classes and MMA gyms are realtively popular search terms. Aikido is a really unpopular search term and has been in free fall for the last 20 odd years. 10 years ago there were about 25 Aikido clubs where I live. Now there are about 15.
I think people are more worried about TBI these days and have a better understanding of the long term health risks of doing martial arts. Very few people who do high impact martial arts for a prolonged period of time come out of it well.
Also consider TMA have a negative perception in the media (as someone once said on here, look at how Karate is portrayed on Friends or on the US Office. It's essentially seen as a pastime of geeky middle age men who couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag).
Then you had the economic down turn combined with the rise of budget gyms, cross fit and youtube showing people how to exercise at home. A lot of people I use to train with don't think martial arts are worth the money anymore.